It’s not you, it’s me…

This post can be subtitled – Why I Unfollowed You on Twitter.

Over the weekend, I did something amazing to my Twitter account. In the last post, we were publicising the competition to win a prize – an art catalogue pictured here on this blog, a guest post from Christopher L. Jorgensen (@jackassletters on Twitter) . The competition (open until 3rd March 2010) can be entered at his guest post on the Tweet Fail blog, The Secret to Fewer Followers. (NOW DRAWN – for details of Christopher’s adventure, see the previous post. Winner was @Fifikins!)

The post inspired me, and i decided to bite the bullet. I’ve always been strict about spammers in my nearly a year on Twitter – i use the Block & Report button a lot. I realised early on, that I don’t care how big my follower list is. As i’ve mentioned before in “So, how big is your virtual penis?” I’d rather have people i like and enjoy around me.

  • There were 850 people following me.
  • I had 550 i was following
  • About 20 of those weren’t following me back.
  • I was Listed by about 115 people.

So, i ran through the methods Christopher lists in his post, and loaded up Twitter Karma.

  • I began by Defollowing everyone who wasn’t still tweeting – in the last two months or so. That is, I blocked the person, then refreshed the page, then unblocked. (Twitter doesn’t give any other options.) This forced them to unfollow me. It seemed fairer to Defollow, than to simply Unfollow and leave them following me. After all, they can always follow me again if they want to, and i didn’t want people to think i was trying to rort my follower numbers. Most people don’t check their followers, so don’t know who’s unfollowed them. (It’s one of the functions that Twitter Karma has. See who is following you back.)
  • If anyone had turned spammy I blocked and reported – the more spammers are reported, the less of them will be causing Twitter to crash by overloading it with ads about raising the numbers of your Twitter Followers.
  • If i couldn’t figure out who they were, weren’t really into their conversations, and we didn’t seem to have even any Twitter buds in common (that they were talking to on first few pages), i Defollowed.
  • I looked at 100’s of profiles in the end, and anyone i didn’t recognise as someone i interact with, (or someone i follow and adore, but don’t interact with often) i Defollowed.
  • I also Defollowed some #amwriting people who i don’t personally chat to, as i can always follow their writing tweets on the #amwriting hashtag and they can read mine.

#amwriting was founded by @johannaharness
a wonderfully inspiring and supportive writers’ group on Twitter
it asks the question ~ what are you writing?
To find out more go here.

  • Then there were the people i’d spoken to and they’d not really ever spoken back, which isn’t much fun after the first couple of times. I mean, why would you want someone to follow you, but not be prepared to speak to them? (These were not people who had lots of replies, i checked.)

At four in the morning, also known as stupid o’clock, i finished, down to around 400, most of whom were ‘mutual friends’, with less than 10 one-way follows. There, i thought, staggering off to bed. That’s so much more manageable.

In the morning… – well, after lunch – i went back, and loaded up Twitter Karma again. (You can see all your followers on one page, makes it easy to see.) Now i’m down to 345 people. Wow, i can see my friends again! I hadn’t realised how cluttered it was.

After a few days, I’ve shed a few more people, (easier to notice who didn’t seem friendly) and added a couple. None of the new ones i’m not following back have spoken to me. No point in adding them but they’re welcome to follow. So far, they’re not spammers – i’ve blocked and reported maybe 50 of those. I’ve also Defollowed several who obviously only added me because of a keyword and didn’t seem to be engaging much with followers. Like the Newcastle radio station who ignored my tweet that said i couldn’t get their station from here.

I’ve also discovered ManageTwitter, which does multi-unfollows – thanks to @Tarale . It wouldn’t have helped me, as i wanted them to stop following me too, but it would have been handy.


In other news: The Thing (my work in fitful progress) proceeds – i had to lose 30,000 words. Not because i had too many, but because those ones were suddenly irrelevant. So i’m down from about 95k to about 65k. (My target is 110k so it was a hard cut to make.) I’m pleased with how it’s going, the plot tightened up so much with that 30k gone.

There was a scene where his mother fell off a tower, and the hero fell too, but the plot required her to be crippled and him to survive, but i couldn’t make it work until i realised – silly me – it was the half-brother what done it! I’d been trying to hammer the scene out, unable to figure it, and suddenly it dropped into place – like people falling off a tower. And 30k of it just didn’t work any more, because it was all trying to fit the scene in without it making sense. I keep learning so much as i go.


What else? Feck knows, i’m not paying attention, i’m trying to focus on The Thing. Whilst procrastinating, I have updated my bio on here – it was previously only about 60 words, now it’s 600 – the tab above with All About Me on it.

There is bad stuff happening all over, especially with the Puritans pushing for net censorship. I get irate on Twitter about it. And i look at kittehz, make jokes, swap food porn, pine for a larger garden, tease Generations X & Y, and send tweets to the Prime Minister that he never acknowledges.

Follow me there if you want to know what i’m ranting about today.
Or for a laugh.

I can’t promise i’ll follow you back.



Art for Art’s Sake…

A guest post! With a competition! From Christopher L. Jorgensen – @JackassLetters on Twitter.

Jackass Letters

If you haven’t seen his Jackass Letters site, it’s full of great letters he’s written and received. Most are incredibly funny, all are unpredictable – this one is a little different.

Correspondence is between Christopher and the Seattle Art Museum – who are indeed some of the coolest people around.


Christopher L. Jorgensen
P.O. Box 93042
Des Moines, IA 50393

February 1, 2009

Dear Seattle Art Museum,

I want to thank you for lending your Edward Hopper painting “Chop Suey” to the Des Moines Art Center. My girlfriend adores Hopper, so it was quite a treat to get to see another of his works!

We made a $5 donation while were were there, so I figured I’d go ahead and send you $5 as well (for being so cool).

Seeing “Chop Suey” was enough to make me wish I’d made better choices in life and had become an art thief. I’d sneak in, and in a daring daylight art heist, the painting would be mine! (I’d also take “Automat,” which is my girlfriend’s favorite, and “Study After Velasquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X” by Francis Bacon, which is my favorite.)

I’m sure security isn’t as lax there as it looks though, so I’d probably end up in jail if I tried it, so I assure you I won’t! If, by some cosmic chance these paintings do come up missing, don’t look at me! How dumb would I have to be to write a letter like this and then do something like that? I just like to dream. Though you do have to admit the Hoppers would look great in my girlfriend’s living room.

All the best,

Christopher L. Jorgensen


Reply from SAM

Seattle Asian Art Museum
Seattle Art Museum
Olympic Sculpture Park

February 11, 2010

Dear Mr. Jorgensen:

Our membership office shared with me your lovely letter, and I felt I had to write with my personal thank you to you for your enthusiasm.  When we share works of art with other institutions, and they travel other cities, we assume they are reaching an audience, but we never get the kind of response that you have sent.  It is gratifying and touching.

So, it is I who thank you, with the enclosed copy of the Hopper catalogue.  Maybe you already have one, and, if so, then feel free to give this to another Hopper enthusiast.  And, by the way, I understand perfectly your coveting these paintings. I do what I do so that I can vicariously “own” such works myself.

I will be speaking about Hopper in Des Moines very soon—Thursday evening, March 4. Perhaps I will meet you then.  Meanwhile, thank you, once again, for your letter.



Patricia Junker

Ann M. Barwick Curator of American Art

1300 First Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101-2003
P 206.625.8900
F 206.654.3135


Patricia Junker is correct and Christopher already has a copy of the Edward Hopper catalogue. So he’s agreed to give this away.
Hopper Catalogue

This contest is easy. Just go to the post, “The Secret to Fewer Followers,”  a guest post by Christopher on Leave a comment by March 4th 2010 (Des Moines time), saying whether you agree with that post, for a chance to win.

Christopher says this contest is open to residents of Australia, the United States, and all English speaking regions of Canada. Good luck!

(I’m anticipating a revolt led by New Zealand and the Quebecois. )

If you’re in Des Moines on March 4th 2010  – why not get along to the talk on Hopper.
There was a day delay in announcing the winner of the Hopper catalog. Mostly because I was really hoping to get it signed by the author and I did! The winner is Ms Fifikins (@fifikins). She’s already sent me her address so book will go out Monday!

After being invited by Patricia Junker (the target of my letter) to attend her lecture, “Tables for Ladies: Edward Hopper and the Modern Woman,” I figured how could I not? You had to RSVP to get free tickets and were supposed to have to show ID at the door. My conspiracy filled brain figured this was an elaborate way to have me detained for questioning, but the girlfriend/editor/typist and I passed through without incident or identification.

The lecture was pretty much what you would expect. A smart woman talking about art. Pretty neat to see how things operate behind the scenes at a museum. Also cool to get some history on the artist and his time.

Afterwards, as I was getting the catalog signed, I said, “Some nice lady sent me this.” Patricia immediately said, “You’re the man who sent the letter!” She seemed genuinely excited. We asked if she’d figured out the spoof before replying. She hadn’t. We asked where the letter ended up (I always wonder). The letter made it into her “Hopper file,” and a copy went on to Barney A. Ebsworth, who I figured worked for the FBI, but am told is a trustee and the man who donated the Hopper painting “Chop Suey” (the painting on the cover of the catalog). Patricia also informed me, “You’re famous at the Seattle Art Museum,” which I think is pretty cool as I am guessing the competition is pretty stiff! I mean it’s not like the SAM is some second rate institution like the MOMA!

Anyway, Patricia was a good sport and I feel like we genuinely made her day! Oh, by the way, she’d found our letters on this site while googling her own event. She still doesn’t know what my site is. At least I don’t think she does. It was a bit surreal to be attending an event all because someone decided to respond to my little missive.

Next time we’re in Seattle I’m going to look up Patricia and this Barney guy. It would be great to do lunch or get a private museum tour. I’m always looking for someone to pick up the tab.

 © this post belongs to Christopher L. Jorgensen

First, suck up to the pope….

Darn, here we are in February, and i’ve been slacking on the blog. Actually, i wrote some posts, but the PMT quotient was too high, they take off paint at ten paces – anyone actually reading them would have their eyeballs exploded, and that’s not what we’re about. It’s not my fault, i caught thrush from being on antibiotics, and it makes a girl cranky.

So, what’s happening? Well, the thrush seems to be clearing, and The Thing’s reached 88,000+ words, which means only about 22,000 to go. I’m trying to make sure the first part is good before i wrap up the end. Currently, i’ve done my usual trick of putting a capable person into a situation where he managed quite well. Damn! No fun unless he’s having problems.

Aside from still being sure he’s gay, that is, but i figure there’s enough young men who read fantasy sci fi who that will resonate for, so his angst over that can stay. After all, I was never going to get the Mormon Church stamp of approval that the Twilight books got. (Yeah, how bad would that be? Mormon Church can’t find anything in your books about vampires that contradict their made-up bible? Though my books aren’t about vampires. Maybe that’s the trick – bloodsucking churches like books about bloodsuckers.)

Come to think of it, maybe i should go do a Bono? No, no, not put on pastel sunglasses and then put out the same album every year for the next twenty, or go live in Ireland because artists didn’t pay ANY income tax on royalties there (and you thought all those celebs lived there cos it’s a cool place? Oh come on! The scheme ran from 1969, but was recently capped at quarter of a million Euro per year) – i mean go suck up to the pope and get him to give up some of the church’s wealth.

Wait, Bono never actually managed that, did he? He just sucked up to the old dead pope for nothing – while he was alive, obviously – but old JP – the P was for Pervert – went back into his bedroom, thinking about all the hot black chicks in Africa doing it without condoms. Risking AID’s, unwanted children, and other disease, all because some wrinkled old toad who got off on whipping himself said so.

They were doing it bare because he said condoms were the work of the devil and that good Catholics would be driven from the church if they dared to even think about them. That’s what excommunication means – and yes, using a condom is reason enough for the Church to drive you out. I’m so glad i turned renegade Catholic before i became sexually active.

The pope then forced himself not to masturbate over the hot black chicks, by getting his rocks off with a belt-thrashing. Making it up? Me? I think not – they’ve just admitted it, Pope John Paul the Bent (the one who died not long ago) used to keep a belt in his wardrobe to beat those urges out. Or off. Some people actually orgasm from pain – makes you wonder.

Still, if i could get Pope Benny to back my book, it would be good PR. He’s got a taste for Prada and couture, maybe i could put some in the book. Repressed gayness whilst fathering broods of children will be huge in the Vatican, that part will be easy. Of course, the women are all very in charge of their own lives, and i’ve made a huge mistake: contraception is easy and available to all. *sigh*

See, i’m screwed,  people in charge of their own lives who don’t kowtow to God’s representatives on Earth – Pope Benny won’t go for it. Not unless i get rid of the strong women and the contraception. And even then, i bet the moment i say all i want is one papal ring, enough to flog to pay for the printing costs, Pope Benny will probably get huffy.

After all, the church didn’t make all that money by giving it to the poor!

Writing is just fraught with problems.

He likes it!
He likes it!

(pic via